Weather buoys are instruments which collect atmospheric weather and oceanography data within the world’s oceans and lakes. Moored buoys are connected with the seabed using either chains or ropes and generally range from 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) to 12 meters (39 ft) in diameter. Buoy data available through MARACOOS includes information from the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), and the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP).
Information from buoys is typically accessed through radio, cellular or satellite technologies in near real time (minutes to 1 hour). The National Weather Service forecasters need frequent, high-quality marine observations to examine conditions for forecast preparation and to verify their forecasts after they are produced. These observations are especially critical to the output of numerical weather models because large bodies of water have a profound impact on the atmospheric weather.
Typical products of buoys include: wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, water temperature, salinity, wave height/direction/period.
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